The Problems of Political Spam

There are many problems with political spam email. Perhaps the most well known one is that Congress, in passing the CAN-SPAM Act, decided to exempt political messages from any forms of legal accountability. And so the only practical limit on political spam is the public’s willingness to shame candidates. Here’s an example worth shaming, sent on to me by a colleague.

If you get political spam from McCain, and want to opt out, here are your options.


Notice that all of them imply that you support or have supported McCain! They are:

-I am a McCain Supporter but don’t wish to be contacted until closer to the election.
-I am a McCain Supporter but I am receiving too many emails. Please only send me newsletters and urgent alerts.
-I am a McCain Supporter but do not wish to receive email any longer.
-I am no longer a McCain Supporter and want to be taken off the email list.

They should add an option for me that reads:

-I never signed up for your stupid email list. I never supported you, except when you passed McCain-Feingold, and I’d vote for Tina Fey before Sarah Palin. Please take me off your list.